City planning, development director Eric Angstadt resigns

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Eric Angstadt, city planning and development director, submitted his resignation Friday to move on to Contra Costa County, leaving a position he has held since April 2012.

He will continue on to be Contra Costa County’s chief assistant county administrator and will be primarily concerned with coordinating the county’s large-scale capital improvement projects.

Angstadt joined the city Department of Planning and Development in April 2012 as planning director and has overseen projects such as building inspections and planning, toxic materials management, land-use planning and energy and sustainable development.

Most recently, the city Department of Planning and Development has spearheaded a citywide climate action plan — drafted in 2015 — in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation and buildings.

“(Angstadt) is accessible, a real problem solver and creative with his approach to land-use issues,” said Councilmember Susan Wengraf. “It is a real loss for the city as he was a terrific addition to the management team.”

In light of a fatal city balcony collapse that killed six individuals in June 2015, Angstadt also pioneered a new city balcony inspection program, according to an email from interim city manager Dee Williams-Ridley to the Berkeley City Council.

Other projects during his tenure included the expansion of the city Permit Service Center, which is responsible for addressing increased demand for land-use and building permit approvals. The center, according to Williams-Ridley’s email, has processed nearly 2,500 building permits since its inception.

“The city of Berkeley is losing an exceptional leader and an exemplary professional. We wish him the best as he moves on,” Williams-Ridley said in an email to City Council. “We will miss Eric, and I wish him the best in his future role.”

The city hopes that Carol Johnson, the current city land-use planning manager, can continue Angstadt’s work when she starts her term as planning director, Williams-Ridley said.

With a history in both public and private sectors, Johnson was planning manager for the cities of Concord, California, and Phoenix, Arizona, before arriving in Berkeley in May 2014. During her time in Berkeley, Johnson led a city affordable housing Nexus Study, compiled in conjunction with the city Department of Planning and Development.

Johnson has also added and created new principal planning positions to three sectors within the land-use and planning division.

Wengraf, however, identified training new planners as a possible challenge Johnson may face as she takes up Angstadt’s now-vacant role.

“The real challenge will be to bring (new junior planners) up to speed with all the tension regarding land use present,” Wengraf said.

Johnson is expected to begin as the city planning director March 25.

Contact Anjali Banerjee at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @abanerjee_dc.